House GOP poised to move $10 billion for border wall

House Republicans next week will begin moving legislation to provide billions of dollars for wall construction at the southern border — a central campaign promise of President Trump that has so far eluded the GOP-led Congress.
The House Homeland Security Committee will mark up the legislation — the Border Security for America Act — on Oct. 4, the panel announced Wednesday.
{mosads}Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, the legislation would provide $10 billion aimed at securing the U.S.-Mexico border, including funding for new wall and fencing construction, border defense technology and aerial surveillance like drones.

The bill also lends a $5 billion boost to U.S. ports of entry; funds an additional 10,000 border-patrol agents and officers; and expands the use of National Guard troops in border protection efforts, including new wall construction.

Another Texas Republican, Sen. John Cornyn, has introduced similar legislation in the upper chamber.

The legislation has little chance of reaching the president’s desk — at least on its own — as Democratic leaders have drawn a clear line opposing any legislation that includes funding for new wall construction. While House Republicans can likely pass the bill through the lower chamber, Senate GOP leaders will have a much tougher time finding the eight Democratic or independent supporters they’d need to kill a filibuster.

It’s unclear if GOP leaders have plans to bring the bill to the floor. The office of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) referred questions to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). McCarthy’s office did not respond to questions Wednesday.

The issue could lead to a partisan showdown in December, when funding for the government expires and Congress must enact another spending package to prevent a government shutdown. 
Trump had launched his successful campaign on vows to build a “beautiful” wall along the southern border — a message that resonated with his white, conservative base. And earlier in the year, he had insisted that wall funding be a part of a 2017 omnibus spending bill, only to back off that position in the face of entrenched Democratic opposition. Still, in signing that package he threatened to shutdown the government later in the year if the wall money wasn’t included in 2018 spending bills.
This month, after a massive hurricane struck Texas and another was headed toward Florida, the president once again backed off his border funding demand, agreeing to a short-term spending bill that included emergency relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Capitol Hill conservatives, who have also insisted on new wall money, have vowed to press the issue in December. 
Tags John Cornyn Paul Ryan

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